Day 161: Mile 1653.8 | Bromley Shelter
I woke up this morning and felt good, even after sleeping on a hill. After seeing Mount Washington the day before from the top of Stratton Mountain I was on top of the world! I could literally see home from here. I was still tired, but I kind of always was tired. I walked with a good pace and a good mood behind Miles. We separated after we got water at the first stream and I spent my time alone listening to podcasts and catching up with some friends.
To my pleasant, exhausted surprise the day consisted of a two mile road walk on a hilly dirt road and some small hills. The trail after the road was, of course, muddy but it didn't hinder my happiness. I sat on a big rock some two hours in and ate an entire bag of gummy bears and a ProBar. I kept meandering after that but more slowly. I found Miles by a stream about 7 miles in, enjoying some rice. I sat and made myself some food, too and he continued on ahead of me. I happily began climbing Mt. Bromley after that and found Miles again about a quarter of the way up the mountain.
We stopped for water at the Bromley shelter and Miles told me how exhausted he was. We hadn't gone as far as we had imagined we might but it didn't really matter to me. I could tell he was absolutely cooked (our hiker term for when you're over tired and you've used your muscles to the extent that they don't really want to hold you up anymore and your brain doesn't really want to work either). I made the executive decision to stop and camp at this shelter. We found a platform that Miles' tent pitched well on and I pitched my tent in the woods nearby. We spent the evening apart and I read and ate more food than I should have. Miles slept immediately.
We planned to get up very early and hike Mt. Bromley for sunrise.